Int’l Community Responds Overwhelmingly


The international community has responded overwhelmingly to the needs of the country, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, while addressing a meeting of the National Disaster Committee at Jamaica House today (September 12), informed that he had received calls from Heads and representatives of government, and that a delegation from Venezuela would be arriving at the Norman Manley International Airport this evening to assess the situation and to determine what assistance they could provide immediately.
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, has advised that he would visit the island this week. There is also a proposal to convene a special meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), so the grouping can respond effectively to the damage in Jamaica and Grenada, which was devastated by Hurricane Ivan.
In addition, a plane is to arrive from Mexico within the next 24 hours with relief supplies. Private companies with bases abroad such as Red Stripe, Digicel and National Commercial Bank, have said that they would provide assistance and they would render other forms of help, “when we determine precisely what our needs are”, the Prime Minister informed.
He said that representatives from Jamaican communities in Atlanta, New York, and Washington have been calling with expressions of support. “Everyone with whom I spoke has been overwhelmed by the miracle of our being spared a direct hit,” the Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, the International Red Cross has pledged a total of US$348,458 in assistance to meet emergency needs.
Dorothy Francis, representative from the organization, informed that the money would be used to provide supplies, including hygiene kits, flashlights, bedding, sheets and foods, such as canned mackerel and corned beef.
“This is preliminary and as the needs become greater, we hope to provide other assistance,” she said.Mrs. Francis noted that five airplanes are expected to arrive in the island soon with the supplies, with the first three to arrive tomorrow (September 13).

JIS Social